IIs It Cruel To Give Your Pet Electric Shocks? Just little ones? Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey has been criticized for using one on her beagle-pug cross, Lola, who allegedly continued to try to attack other dogs. She spoke to Steve Andrews, a Suffolk dog trainer, who recommended an electric collar to help control Lola’s behavior. It seemed to work, and Andrews has since called on Coffey to help reverse the government’s plans to ban remote control collars. Awkwardly, the plans were announced by Michael Gove last year, when Coffey was a minister in his department.
“Thérèse’s dog responds to setting 11 [out of 100]”Andrews told the Eastern Daily Press.” She felt what it was and couldn’t feel anything… It’s not cruel. Therese and her family are dog lovers who do their best for their pet. company.
But is he right? The RSPCA, the Kennel Club, the Animal Behavior and Training Council and the British Veterinary Association (BVA) oppose aversive training methods, and electric collars in particular. Research commissioned by the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found that shock collars cause stress and do not train dogs more effectively than alternatives.
To be frank, aversive training doesn’t work because dogs are less intelligent than humans. “If you shock your dog and, say, a bird tweets nearby, he might think, ‘This bird shocked me,'” says Holly Conway of the Kennel Club. “The dog doesn’t know what he is doing wrong and associates shock with something else.”
Shockproof collars can improve a dog’s behavior, but the effect is unpredictable and there may be side effects. While some dogs submit when they feel shock, others react aggressively, which makes matters worse. “Even when applied at a low level, the electrical impulses from these aversive shock collars can produce this anxiety response in dogs and can also have long-term adverse effects on their behavior and emotional responses,” he said. declared Daniella Dos Santos, new president of the BVA. “Either way, there is a lot of evidence that positive training methods are more effective.”
If a dog is having problems, Dos Santos advises owners to speak to a veterinarian, who can recommend a behaviorist. A reward-based training system has been shown to work best. Meanwhile, research continues on how to control the behavior of politicians.